Finding Who a Telephone Number Belongs To
By Brian Flax
Updated September 01, 2017
If you've ever received a call from an unknown telephone number and you'd like find out who the number belongs to, you'll find several tools online that can aid in your search. Reverse telephone number lookups, searching the number on sites like Google, Yahoo or Bing, and searching social media sites can all help put a name to a number. Most tools are available for free online, while others may charge for the information. If using a paid service, make sure it's a reputable company.
Use Reverse Phone Lookup
For numbers that are listed in the phonebook, using a reverse phone number service is the easiest way to find out who a telephone number belongs to. The website 411.com offers a free reverse phone number service. Enter the area code and telephone number and press "Search" to return a list of results. If the phone number is listed in the phonebook, the site should return a name and address. Whitepages.com and AnyWho.com also offer free reverse phone number searches (links in Resources). Reverse phone number searches will not work with unlisted landlines or cell phone numbers.
Google the Telephone Number
If you're unable to find out who the number belongs to using a reverse phone number search, or the phone number belongs to a cell phone, try searching for the telephone number on a major search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing. If the individual or business has listed the phone number on a website or social media profile, it's possible to find the name that belongs to the number. If the number is an 800 number or you think it's spam or telemarketers, you can search sites like 800notes.com and whocalled.us to find out what others are saying about the number (see Resources).
Call the Number Back
If you're unable to find the number online using a reverse or Google search, you can always try calling the number back and asking who it belongs to. If the individual or business has a voice mail, you may be able to find out who the number belongs to without having to talk with anyone. Spy Dialer (see Resources) will call the telephone number's voice mail directly, giving you the option of hearing the voice mail or looking up the name for free. This will bypass the need to talk to anyone and help you remain anonymous at the same time.
Use People Search
If you're still unable to find the owner of a telephone number after using free services, you can try to run a search using sites like Intelius and Instant Checkmate. Although these providers do charge for the service, you'll have a better chance of finding accurate results. Try to search social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Spokeo as people may have listed their phone number within their profiles. If you're still unable to find out who a telephone number belongs to and the calls are of a harassing nature, speak with your service provider or the local authorities about your options.
Based in the Washington DC area, Brian Flax holds a Master of Science in education technology, and a Bachelor of Science in entertainment business from Full Sail University. His articles have been published on FindTheBest.com, where he was a daily writer in the smartphones and tablets section.